Friday, June 30, 2017

Monthly Wrap-up: June Part 2

Today is the last day of June and officially summer since today was Madi's last day! We have a couple weeks here in Baku before we head to the United States and I've got a long list of things I want/need to get done before the trip. Until then, here's the rest of the fun we had in June (catch Part 1 here).

You don't see the changes daily, but seeing the side-by-side Madi has changed a lot!

I got to spend one Friday morning with just the twins. We were the first customers at Starbucks and had the place to ourselves (which was good since the video is evidence of what a frappucino sugar-rush looks like; and no, they didn't each have their own. I just separated the one into two cups to prevent a screaming competition). My friend Liza commented on Facebook that it's a young Darcy and Jason having coffee, haha. Guess we do each have our minis. ;-)

  1. I've been getting up early and running in the morning with my friend Hayley, which means I have more time for things like making omelets for Jason and me during the week. It's been nice to be up before the girls and get back into exercising.
  2. Evy dressing up and smiling at her Daddy.
  3. Liv likes to bury herself in the sofas and of course she needed to be surrounded by pandas.
  4. Their favorite birthday gift - baby doll strollers from Meri.
  5. We were able to buy an outdoor table from neighbors moving back to the US and have enjoyed quite a few meals and snack times outside.
  6. Cat snuggles.
  7. I had Madi's parent-teacher conference with Ms Naza and got all wonderful feedback. My personal favorite? How kind and how she's friends with everyone and her affinity for mathematics. #nerdfamily
  8. Madi's school had a summer concert and Madi told me that morning she wasn't going to cry like at the last concert. I was surprised she remembered how she'd acted and was happy to see her smiling and having fun during this one.
  9. Reading before bedtime. 
Madi attended her friend's pirate party and had a blast! She got to see lots of her friends from school, including the school director, Ms Marsida, who we will miss since this is her last year at Bumblebee. 

Allergies. My personal opinion, whether right or wrong, is that it's my responsibility to bring a snack for Olivia to have when we go to someone's house for playgroup, birthday party, etc. I've been blessed to have a couple friends who always makes sure there is egg-free food at playgroup and get togethers, especially for Olivia (thank you Helene and Christine!!) and I appreciate it greatly, but don't expect them or others to do the same. I just ask that others do not give my girls any food without asking me so I can ensure it doesn't have eggs or nuts.

One afternoon Madi and her friend made cookies and the mom brought some over for the kids a couple days later then they were having another playdate. I didn't have any egg-free cookies ready, but I had rice crispy treats and Olivia was perfectly content eating that while the others had a cookie. No big deal. However, a couple days later the mom sent me a message that she'd made more cookies and this time they were egg-free! She'd said she was heartbroken Olivia couldn't have one before and it definitely made me cry that she went out of her way to accommodate Olivia's food allergy. As you can see Olivia was thrilled with her special cookie!

These two girls are playing together more and more and love running around! They've also started saying "cheese" for pictures and giving us a smile. They are well-trained, ha!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Monthly Wrap-up: June Part 1

We had a lot of fun in June with multiple birthday parties (including our own), long weekends, and lots of play outdoors and with friends.

We visited our friend Jessie's pool with their kids and our friend Christine's family. My girls have mastered not smiling at the same time for pictures and preferred sitting on the towel and eating crackers to getting into the pool until it was almost time to go home, naturally, haha.

  1. Breakfast shenanigans with some Lucky Charms a friend from church brought for the girls.
  2. Evy stealing my camera to take pictures of Ta-Ta cat.
  3. Strawberries freshly picked by the gardeners for us. Soooo delicious!
  4. Coloring fun with Clementine.
  5. Picnic outside.
  6. Snack time outside. We will attribute their lack of smiles to having recently woken from naps.
  7. Evy climbed into her car seat, put her arms under the straps, and buckled the top buckle. We weren't going anywhere though. 
  8. Liv tucking herself into the doll bed to go "nigh nigh".
  9. Books and snuggles with my younger girls. ❤️

One Sunday after church we headed to the Cinnabon for a treat. All was well until one twin pushed the other knocking a plate over and breaking it. Hopefully we are allowed back because these three love Cinnabon!

Madi's good friend Clementine was out of town for her birthday party plus the two of them have been asking for a pajama party. Anna and I decided to spend a Saturday with the girls starting with breakfast just the four of us, playing all day at one another's houses and the school end of year fair, followed by decorating their own mini cakes and a movie in their pajamas. They'll be apart the whole summer so I'm glad they got to have this time together before both our families left for the summer holiday.

The girls have been amazing us lately with their recollection and inference skills showing they are understanding and processing so much! One evening after bath time we were playing with the girls and were amazed when both Evy and Liv sang Five Little Monkeys!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Holiday Weekend: F1, Dalga, Mud Volcanoes

This past weekend was a long weekend - it turned out to be five days as a result of Ramadan, which normally we would have used as an excuse to travel, but we had already purchased our tickets to Formula One. It turned out to be nice to have a few days at home and do some things around the city rather than pack up and head out of town.

Formula One

We started the long weekend by attending Formula One. Jason got to attend last year, but I stayed home since we weren't sure about childcare (since we'd just moved to Baku). Our wonderful nanny Meri watched the girls all weekend and they had a blast. We took Madi with us on Saturday and she loved watching the two pink cars and seeing the "fire car" (aka safety car) on the course.

The girls played at a friend's house and got to hold their pet turtle. Evy was thrilled!

Dalga Aquapark

On Monday we packed up and headed to one of the aquaparks less than an hour away. We met up with friends there and had a lovely time. Eveyln never really took to the water, Madi took a bit to warm up, and Olivia was in the water basically the whole time having a blast on the water slides!

Mud Volcanoes

Tuesday I took the girls to a singing playgroup in the morning while Jason got our bags packed to head to the mud volcanoes. We've been before, but thought this time we would bring swimsuits and let the girls go crazy. They were all a bit hesitant at first, especially Evelyn, but then they started tossing piles of dried mud into the mud volcanoes and loved being splashed with the mud. It was fun to watch them run around laughing and the light breeze made the weather really pleasant and not too hot.

We spent the last day of the holiday taking the girls to their favorite indoor play area Wonderland and then relaxing at home in the afternoon. Madi still has two more days of school this week and then she'd off for summer break so there will be loads more fun to come I'm sure!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Madison is F O U R!

We held the girls' joint birthday party the weekend before Madi's actual birthday, June 20. On her birthday she had school and she was excited to help me make rice crispy treats for her classmates.

We arrived early downtown before school started so we headed to Starbucks to pass the time. It was a lovely way to start off her birthday!

I also got to come to the classroom and watch her birthday circle walk. So adorable!

Madison Rose,

I still cannot believe you are turning four already! You are such a joy to us and the best big sister to Evelyn and Olivia. You make all of us laugh and you have a kind heart and are incredibly generous. You are caring, compassionate, and friendly - you get along with everyone making it easy to have playdates. You are beautiful and brilliant and we are blessed to have you as a daughter. Happy FOURTH birthday sweet girl!



Monday, June 19, 2017

Stingerie Jungle Jam 2017

What do you do when all three of your girls have summer birthdays within three weeks of one another? A joint birthday party before everyone leaves for the summer of course! We picked a date closer to Madi's birthday since a lot of our friends are leaving at the end of the month and got planning under way.

We went with a jungle theme because all of the girls love animals and it seemed like an easy theme for planning. I used the fabulous printer I learned about when helping for our Women's Retreat and took advantage of the reasonable prices to make invitations, thank you cards, birthday poster, stickers for goodie bags, water and food labels, and personalized bubble labels. #winning. I love designing things like this so it was fun for me!

Tiger Tails :-)
I made all of these fondant animals in the weeks leading up to the birthday party. I figured it would be easier to make our own cake with the egg and nut allergies and too hard to try to explain to a bakery that I just wanted to buy decorations. Enter my art project. It wasn't as difficult as I anticipated, but definitely amateur work. I'm sooo happy with how they turned out though that I don't care!

We had a good food spread and borrowed a close friend's slushy machine to make magaritas and kid-friendly drinks during the party. Everything was a big hit!

The goodie bags had these personalized bubbles, play-doh, candy, and a couple extra stickers with different animals on them. I love how everything I printed turned out and I'm debating how crazy it would be to pick themes for the next 10 years of birthday parties now and have everything printed. Only slightly crazy, right?!

The weather started out a bit questionable in the morning, but opened up to a beautiful (and surprisingly cool) afternoon for our gathering. We used the basement and backyard for face painting and mingling. The kids had a ball on the trampoline and bouncy house!

About halfway through the party we moved inside for a fun bubble and balloon show that the kids all loved (except Olivia - you'll notice a real lack of her in the pictures because she was content sitting in the back eating fruit and was having none of it when I tried to get her to go into the life-size balloons with her sister. #pickyourbattles

I think this is the kid's favorite part - standing in the life size balloons and when you aren't inside, popping it for the person inside. :-)

We sang happy birthday to all three girls and they blew out their candles before diving into their delicious cupcakes and cake!

Overall it was an absolutely wonderful day and I think the girls and all of their guests had a lovely time!! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with our family!

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